Am I my brother’s keeper? (Genesis 4:9b ESV)
This is an age-old question. It goes back even to the Garden. Adam was actually with Eve when she was tempted to eat the fruit (Genesis 3:6). But rather than stepping in and taking responsibility for her and himself, he sat idly by and allowed sin to dominate.
Was Adam Eve’s keeper?
According to the Genesis 2 creation account, woman was made from man; she is, by created order, an equal and vital part of him. But she is also given into his care.
The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. (Genesis 2:15 HCSB)
This watchfulness and authority was given over every plant and animal in the garden, which included his wife. But his wife was also an equal part of this headship.
And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone,
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called woman,
for she was taken from man. (Genesis 2:23 HCSB)
Adam had, as men still do to this day, watchful authority over his wife, not chauvinistic dominance over her. Man is his wife’s keeper. He is creation’s keeper. Therefore, man is his fellow human’s keeper.